Simpson Strong-Tie offers a DIY workbench hardware kit that is based off of their RTC24 3-way right angle steel brackets. Although a Strong-Tie workbench requires more effort to build than a 2×4 Basics workbench, there are two main advantages – greater load capacity and the ability to customize the height of the workbench.
The Simpson Strong-Tie hardware kit (KWB1) comes with 8 steel brackets, 200 Strong Drive self-drilling screws, and plans to get you started. Construction is as simple as with the 2×4 Basics brackets – cut your 2x4s, work surface and shelving down to size, and then screw everything together.
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One of our workbenches is constructed using these RTC24 brackets, although we purchased the brackets and #8×1.25″ self-drilling screws separately. Overall the workbench has stood up very well to abuse, and is topped with a 1-1/4″-thick IKEA countertop.
Here’s a PDF from Simpson Strong-Tie that shows a few of the example setups you can build using the RTC24 brackets included in this kit. Note that some of the examples are built using multiple kits.
I’ve build a work bench using these connectors an I was very pleased with it. Not only can you vary the height, but you can also vary the width. I plan on replacing my current work table ( a 6′ folding table) with one built with these connectors.
San Diego Chicken
Built a workbench with this kit last year and it is very durable. I am currently using it as an ammo reloading bench.
Well I’m glad they are including “self-drilling” screws. Snarkiness aside, this looks like a good idea.
Maybe it’s too early in the morning, but I don’t see what’s wrong with self-drilling screws. Locally, the hardware kits are about $40, while the brackets are $5 and change each, and the fastener 100pc packs being maybe $8 or so.
Without self-drilling screws, pilot holes might be required, even for the relatively small #8 screws. Another advantage is that the self-drilling screws have unusually large and flat heads for uniform stress distribution.
Stuart, I think James C thought the term “self drilling” was funny, not realizing the difference between drilling and fastening.
Now if someone could just invent self-fastening screws…
Self-fastening screws sure would be something! How would that work, fasteners with spring-action pop-out threads that can be slid into roughly drilled pilot holes? And of course they would require proprietary tools and delivery systems!
I don’t know, I was kind of hoping to be able to wave a magic wand around (Sorcerer’s Apprentice style) and have the screws do all the work.
Maybe it was too early for me when I posted that comment. I normally think of sheet metal and such when considering self drilling screws. Now it would be silly for these brackets not to have screw holes pre-punched in them, so the self drilling screws are meant for the wooden supports, right?
The flat underside of the head works well with the bracket, but it there any benefit to using a self drilling screw, in wood, over a regular old tapered-point screw (with a flat head)? Really asking here; not sarcastic. I suppose I’ve never tried it.
Tapered point and even straight wood screws require pilot holes. Self-drilling screws do not. This makes assembly much quicker and easier, especially considering that some of the screw locations can be awkward to reach with a drill.
I used one box of the Simpson self-drilling screws, and a box of lathe screws. Although not meant for this type of application, the lathe screws worked almost as well as the Simpson ones.
Each bracket requires 18 screws, and there are 8 brackets to a work bench. The way the brackets are, you would probably have to move slowly with regular wood screws. Drill a pilot hole and drive one screw to set things, and then another to help fix the position. Then drill more pilot holes and drive in the screws. It may not seem a lot, but doing this 144 times can get tiring fast. When putting my bench together, the bracket positions shifted ever so slightly as they were squeezed around the 2x4s.
That’s my theory at least. Of course you’re not limited to using these types of fasteners. You can buy the kit and source your own screws, or buy the individual brackets and do the same.
Another option I would consider are these Spax panel screws, which do cost a bit more than the Simpson Strong-Tie branded ones.
I built one of these a few years ago after trying to find a decent quality bench that didn’t break the bank. It has held up extremely well and I often recommend it to others. Photos of the build here:
it is a shame that we can not bye the 2×4 Basics Workbench Kit in the UK Scotland. If any one knows where I can get these kits
Screwfix has ’em. 29/9/2015